Agencies that can Help

Residents of New Hampshire who have an acquired brain disorder may be eligible for the State's Bureau of Developmental Services (BDS) system. Laws and policies determine eligibility, which can be difficult to understand. Primarily, eligibility and the location of services are determined both by current age and age when the acquired brain disorder occurred. These are listed briefly below and described further within this Resource Directory.

Injury or Brain Disorder from Birth to Age 3:

Eligible for the Early Supports & Services program. Services are determined according to individual and family needs. Support provided in the areas of health and physical development, motor skills, cognitive/play skills, social/emotional skills, communication and self-help skills. Refer to "Area Agencies" section of this directory for the Early Supports & Services Coordinator nearest you.

Injury or Brain Disorder from Age 3 to 21:

Eligible for some services under BDS including family support and respite. If there is no family involved, the survivor may be eligible for residential services. All education related services are provided by local school districts. Refer to the "Education" section of this resource directory for additional school district information. New Hampshire law (RSA 171-A) defines a developmental disability as one which is:

  1. attributable to mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or specific learning disability or any other condition of an individual found to be closely related to mental retardation as it refers to general intellectual functioning or impairment in adaptive behavior or requires treatment similar to that required for individuals with mental retardation;
  2. originates before an individual attains age 22;
  3. has continued or can be expected to continue indefinitely; and
  4. constitutes a severe handicap to such individual's ability to function normally in society. There are people in New Hampshire with acquired brain disorders that meet the above criteria and are currently being served by the Bureau of Developmental Services. Refer to the "Area Agencies" section of this directory for additional information.

Injury or Brain Disorder Acquired from Age 22 on:

In recognition that many individuals with an acquired brain disorder do not meet the above criteria, the Department of Health and Human Services in 1993 instituted initiatives to serve persons with acquired brain disorders who were not otherwise eligible. The primary foundation of the program is the Community Care Waiver/Acquired Brain Disorder. Refer to the "Support Services Description" section for further information describing the options available.